Lilongwe based local Charity organisation, Widow’s Hope Africa on Tuesday donated various food and non food items to widows in one of the densely populated areas of Chinsapo.
Speaking during the ceremony, Widow’s Hope Africa Executive Director Elizabeth Banda said her organisation decided to visit widows after seeing that most them are suffering in silence.
“What happens is that after the death of the husband most widows find it difficult to live the normal life,” said Banda.
Banda urged other well-wishers to come and assist the Chinsapo widows.
“I spoke with them and they for long time, they have told me that they can be very happy if some other well-wishers can come and assist them with capital to start businesses,” said Ms Banda.
According to Banda, the Women’s Hope Africa exist to assist in income generating activities for widows, educational support and health programs for vulnerable orphans, and to provide secondary school educational opportunities for youths.
Banda says Women’s hope aims at looking after widows and the children across the globe and share common experiences.
“A loss of social status and reduced economic circumstances. Even in developed countries the older generation of widows, those now over 60, may suffer a dramatic but subtle change in their social position. The monetary value of widows is a continuing source of grievance, since the value often does not keep up with fluctuations in the over changing cost of living,” she said.
“It must not be forgotten that many widows are enormously resourceful and resilient and go on to manage successful creative lives both personally and professionally but the majority of the widows which we look after are unemployed, unskilled and live well below poverty levels and some women have reduced themselves to offer sex to men in exchange of money and some women have reduced themselves to begging in the streets to help them survive, and these women are left with a huge responsibility to look after their children and some which are sick and disabled.
“Malnutrition among widows is widespread and they are particularly vulnerable to violence, and sexual harassment. The pressure on widows to provide for their children and death of alternative employment opportunities override Malawi’s widows strongly socialized tendency to protect themselves from extra marital relationships. What is worse is that some destitute widows are forced to sell or offer their daughters for early marriage for money,”said Banda.
According to Ms Banda, the state of widowhood is exacerbated by conditions of poverty saying widows makes up a sizeable percentage of the world’s poorest people.
“For the poor the good life or well-being is multi dimensional with both material and psychological dimensions. Well-being is peace of mind, it is good healthy it is belonging to a community, it is safety, it is freedom of choice. And action, it is a dependable livelihood and a steady source of income, it is food,” she said.
During the function, councillor Christopher Namakhwa commended Widow’s Hope Africa for the donation saying the it will go a long way in alleviating problem widows are facing.
Widow’s Hope Africa is a local NGO with a mission to harness the potentials of widows ,orphans and vulnerable segments to become productive entities in the society through advocacy, capacity building ,economic empowerment and human rights programme.
Their goal is to advocate for, and promote the rights of widows ,vulnerable women and orphans in Malawi and Africa at large .
Widow’s Hope Africa is run by three young people these are Elizabeth Banda, who is the executive Director, Ben Felix who happens to be their Director of administration and Chris Banda who is Programmes Director.
- Contact; Elizabeth- [email protected]